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The Problems at the Varsity Grill

A business on Merrick Road has encountered difficulties opening. What are your thoughts about the delay?

The owners of a business on Merrick Road has encountered difficulty trying to open its doors.

The Varsity Grill has been gearing up to serve burgers in the Shadow of Massapequa High School for several months.

They actually opened their doors in late December, according to Village of Massapequa Park officials who said they were immediately shut down, because they did not have a certificate of occupancy.

The Village says they wat to be business friendly, but need more paperwork. One of the Varsity co-owners accused the village of selective enforcement.

We want to know what you think. Take our poll below and weigh in with your comments.

Steve January 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Sorry Rita , dont mean to pick on you but I was just thinking about your Math. Assuming 25% of the HS would eat there on a daily basis is in my opinion is over reaching. That is also assuming every kid goes out to eat. Now lets list the competitors who put out special everyday fighting over that business which of course bites into the gross margins. You have Fredos,Subway,La Bottega,Zim Zaris,Pizza Bistro,Town Bagel,Southgate Bagel,King Kullen,Ginos, 2 mexican places and if you want to throw in Cheifs deli in there thats all within walking distance. Also coming soon Sals is moving into ace shopping center from hicksville road and probably put a good hurting on all the above mentioned.
Alfredo Cajones January 15, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Do you people have anything better to do? God these people are trying to open a business and you losers just trash the guy. Shut up already. People like most of you blogging here are the reason I moved from massapequa. Beside that trying to get anything done in the village is like talking to God!
RMDAV January 15, 2013 at 02:53 AM
Hello Steve, as a business owner I have to say yes, I do know what rents are here in MP. I looked into that building before it was sub divided and it was $8,900 per month. Take the rent and cut in half. ($4,450) Take 1/4 of students (no teachers) 525 and times by a student special at $6.00 per person/ per day = $3,150 and then X by 20 days a month...What do we get???? $63,000 a month! minus your costs and employee's which I am sure is at minimum wage/ part time (no benefits). I believe you have a real good go at it. You may be right with me over reaching on 25% of kids eating there on a regular basis unless they offer something extra special, but then you add in teachers who need to pick up a quick bite, that may just compensate for the fall off of students. I will say this, if they have a great burger ( that you don't have to drive for) I think this place may just have a chance. I personally looked at the place for an extreme hot dog place but was not going for $8,900 a month. That math did not work out, now that the rent is cut in half, and don't have to do 15 hour days on the weekend, it appealing again.
RMDAV January 15, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Steve, I don't think for one minute you are picking on me. It's okay to have an intelligent conversation on here, most people just rant and rave. Totally agree there is a ton of competition but as a parent of HS graduates I have to say at times they are lazy and go for the closest, most convenient thing ( maybe not so healthy) That is why the bagel store does so well. It's cheap, fast, and close to the school. Most kids at the HS don't want to be associated with the "Cyber Cafe" that they call a cafeteria because those on detention, or in school suspension are forced to have lunch there. They have their freedom and want to go out. Just my experience. from having my child go through MHS. Now taking into consideration all seniors like to get out and drive to some where for lunch, we are still at about 25% of the student population. Teachers are another thing, I have been in La Botega a ton of time for lunch and I always see teacher picking up orders, my guess it's the best available option. My thoughts, why not have another option? Serve a great burger, quickly, and cost effective, there is where my gold mine assumption came from. I hope they do well as I do for all the vendors around the high school.
Steve January 15, 2013 at 03:18 AM
Hey it was a fun exchange Rita. I hope your right and they have nothing but success. I will support them.
RMDAV January 15, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Hope my other comments may have changed your mind about wagering against it. Interesting that you mention Zim Zari having a big nut and limited exposure. That is because they are in the "superior South Gate shopping center" Just driving into that center has a premium as we all know. Now lets talk about Zim Zari, not managed well at all, offers limited and sub-par food. Here's a little story for you. My daughter was eating there with a friend during her HS lunch, he literally started choking on his lunch, my daughter asked for help, they looked at her as if she had two heads. She proceeded to give him the heimlich and dislodged what he was chocking on. All the manager could do was offer water as his face turned blue.. Once it came out of his throat, the manager then gave them napkins and asked them to clean the floor where he just lost what was in his throat. Needless to say we as a family have never eaten there again.
RMDAV January 15, 2013 at 03:23 AM
I love people that have great points! Appreciate our conversation. It's all good and maybe one day will meet you there for a burger. All the best... Sorry to be long winded in my comments!
AJF January 15, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Steve and Rita, Why did it take over one year for them to open? The owners should of had all their ducks in a row by now. Rita what will his volume be when schools out for summer? Remember Starbucks moved out of Southgate because of high rents on lease renewal but because of volume was down. My Daughters go into all the food places near the school so to say varsity will get certain % a day is only an assumption. Wonder why the school district spent all that money on a useless cafeteria when it was redone to create a closed campus. I'll tell you why....all the businesses would have closed. I wish them great success at Varsity but it won't be an easy go he has a lot of money to make up for all the time those doors were never opened.
Joe m January 15, 2013 at 03:45 AM
When I was student they had a place called the snack shack. Same idea burgers and fries. It didn't last to long. If you dont have enough room or food takes to long to cook it won't do well with students. once you find friends who drive you can still get a burger , fries and a drink for about 4 bucks at All American.
Jason Molinet January 15, 2013 at 04:22 AM
I love All-American. But have you seen the lines? Not lunch-break friendly.
RMDAV January 15, 2013 at 05:28 AM
Hello AJF: Good points! I have no idea why it is taking them so long to open it not as if the have to deal with the SLA,, possibly not the right firms representing them as far a legal documents but that is just an assumption. Yes, my assumption about the % that would visit may be off, just a business projection. As someone who is in the business and makes a nice living from Memorial Day to Labor Day ( East End) I can tell you having a great product, good prices, an excellent staff, and customer service, a fall off of 9 weeks summer vacation when the school is closed is nothing. There are plenty of ways to market to the community and not just count on students. As a side note, the rents vary drastically once you cross over Merrick Rd to Southgate. Smoking Al's is an example, why on the corner versue Southgate? I will bet my last dollar it was the rent expense. They seem to be doing quite well even though they have no parking. Parking is figured into the amout you pay per SQ foot of your restaurant.
Mike Girardin January 15, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Great points made here. Maybe the village doesn't want to be embarrassed like they were when a prostitution -foot spa was open just a block away from village hall without permits. I agree the owner should have the proper permits but let's help a legit business.
Struggling in Massapequa January 15, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Hey Rita, Hopefully Massapequa Schools Superintendent Sulc and Deputy Supertintendent Adcock won't eat at Varsity Grill because they won't pay, just like they have not paid the construction company that built "the Cyber Cafe" 2 years ago. They continue to steal from Massapequa families.
AJF January 15, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Hi Rita, I don't know how Smokin Al's survives. The BBQ isn't the best I've had but a lot of people have no clue about how real BBQ is supposed to taste. Go South people and have real BBQ then you won't be back to sud standard BBQ. Rita, it was a pleasure Lets have some real BBQ
Alfredo Cajones January 15, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Mike were you a regular in the foot spa?? To even compare that to this place the Varsity Grill is stupid.
bob gee January 15, 2013 at 09:52 PM
students at the school should not be allowed out of the school for lunch, it disrupts their rountine.
Dominick Cuozzo January 16, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Steve Get your facts right its a family restaurant Built well above village code not like townbagle not handicapped friendly
Mike Girardin January 16, 2013 at 04:27 AM
Alfredo talking about stupid. How did an illegal business run for years a block from Village Hall. They NEVER had permits to run any business at that location.. I agree that Varsity Grill should follow the law. But let's help a family business like the Varsity Grill get started. With a 3..5 Million dollar shortage coming in the school budget I would hope we can get some legitimate businesses to open in Massapequa..
Pooches2nd January 16, 2013 at 01:27 PM
Push the papers through let the guy open he'll be out of biz before he starts ....can't imagine what he's paying in rent and what he laid out already he's already missed over a year and half of school season.....and people wonder why business close
Alfredo Cajones January 27, 2013 at 02:22 PM
went to the varsity grill. the food was excellent and the service friendly. TV's all over the place. I liked the Massapequa H.S. jerseys too.
Sbrownie January 27, 2013 at 07:41 PM
10 dollar cheeseburgers?? really for HS students ha ha ha
Jane aster January 28, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Went to varsity grill it was awesome the chicken ranch burger my daughter had was unbelievable and HUGEEEE .My other daughter had the bacon burger that was bigger than her head!!! my niece goes to the high school and they have student specials she didn't pay $10 for a hamburger ... Not to mention unlimited drinks who does that??? Lets stop not picking they just opened let them work out the kinks it's a great idea and have Massapequa chiefs alumni jerseys pics everywhere great concept my kids love it and I enjoyed watching the ranger game.Hey Steve why don't you put your energy towards your wife and cut slack
Lou pace January 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Went to varsity grill it was awesome the chicken ranch burger my daughter had was unbelievable and HUGEEEE .My other daughter had the bacon burger that was bigger than her head!!! my niece goes to the high school and they have student specials she didn't pay $10 for a hamburger ... Not to mention unlimited drinks who does that??? Lets stop not picking they just opened let them work out the kinks it's a great idea and have Massapequa chiefs alumni jerseys pics everywhere great concept my kids love it and I enjoyed watching the ranger game.Hey Steve why don't you put your energy towards your wife and cut slack
lisa sontag January 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM
great potential concept great food was very good my kids loved the free refills and they have the best hot chocolate I ever had!!! we enjoyed our visit at Varsity Grill its a fun place to add to the Massapequas!!!!!
lisa sontag January 28, 2013 at 12:43 AM
that place is huge they will work it out you cant just open a huge place like that with a wide variety of food and except to have a 100% cooperation it has to flow and work itself out reality!!!
Franken Harpo January 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Service was slow...I'll stick with the bagel place where they know what they are doing and don't blame the village for ll their problems. Thank you!
Franken Harpo January 31, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Talking to God? You moved from Massapequa because you couldn't stand it yet you spend all your time posting on the Massapequa Patch! Coo-coo!
Dick Blair February 01, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Ha ha ha...why don't you post the same message with different names so no one one knows it is you? Ha ha ha!
Dick Blair February 01, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Ha ha ha...why don't you post the same message with different names so no one one knows it is you? Ha ha ha!
Marjorie M February 01, 2013 at 08:35 PM
lmao ,Dick Blair, you gotta feel bad for him, his daughter has a head smaller then a burger, maybe he does too!!!

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